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tv   Starting Point  CNN  December 17, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

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e relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. newtown, connecticut, small, close-knit community, swallowed by grief this morning after the unimaginable loss of 20 children and 6 adults, all killed inside an elementary school. today they prepare to bury the first of the victims. >> we will move on. we will never forget. we will in many ways be made stronger. >> president obama visiting grieving families and showing support during an evening vigil says we must do more. >> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end.
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and to end them, we must change. >> and now we learn more about the victims that unforgettable friday morning. the ultimate question remains, why did it happen. and we may never, ever get an answer to that question, why. welcome to a special edition of "starting point" from newtown, connecticut. i'm joined by "early start" co-anchor john berman. today, two 6-year-old boys will be buried and children across the country head back to school. jack pinto, a little guy who loved new york giants. and noah pozner, the youngest of the 26 victims who died on friday morning. he is a twin. his sister survived. >> still doesn't know how her
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twin brother died. president obama here, trying to bring comfort to the inconsolable, promised to use his powers, everything he can do as president to end this kind of madness. >> this is our first task. caring for our children. can we truly say as a nation that we're meeting our obligations? >> three around. >> come down now. one, two, three, ready, and go. ♪ come now all my >> we're remembering the fallen, all of them. a little more about victims like this girl are you seeing right here, ana marquez-greene, this little girl who loved to sing and write love letters to her parents. of course, as we focus on the victims that will be our main focus. but we talk about the suspected shooter, how police say he got into the school and why he may
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have been targeting the sandy hook elementary school to begin with. >> we start off telling you about the first of 20 funerals for children. sandra endo, today will be one of the toughest days, sandra, as they try to put into words, make some kind of sense of these funerals of these little boys. >> absolutely, soledad, the pain of this community being felt across the country. last night, president obama speaking to residents here in newtown, offered words of comfort and support. >> i come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. i can only hope it helps for you
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to know that you're not alone in your grief. >> and president obama also met with the victims' family members and last night a tweet from 30-year-old daughter of the slain principal at sandy hook elementary tweeted this. my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her granddaughter, but not as proud as i am of her. and today marks the first day of funerals for the days to come. this afternoon, 6-year-old noah pozner will be laid to rest. just turned 6 last month, survived by his twin sister. family members say do not know exactly the way her brother died. also being buried today, 6-year-old jack pinto. a huge sports fan and one of his
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favorite stars was new york giants receiver victor cruz. cruz on the field this weekend, paid tribute to pinto, writing on his glove. today's game is for you, jack. soledad and john, back to you. >> such a moving tribute from victor cruz and there were trick out tributes all around the country from football teams. today is the first day of funerals and for kids in connecticut, the first day back to school, but not yet in newtown. i want to know what are the plans for the sandy hook elementary school itself? >> that's right, john. all schools in newtown will be closed today. that's for staff to be able to talk to experts, to figure out how to deal with students in this aftermath of the tragedy, and tomorrow classes will resume except for at sandy hook elementary. accommodated by a neighboring school in a neighboring town. john, and soledad.
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>> some of the kids will be getting back to school as soon as tomorrow. really, really quickly. >> i imagine the routine would be better than keeping them out of school. i understand the idea of parents not wanting to let their children go anywhere near a school. but for kids, getting back to routine might be helpful. >> getting kids back together important. >> as this is happening, police vest division into the masinves swing. >> connecticut police have confirmed the identity of the gunman, the fact that he used a se semiautomatic assault weapon to blast his way through. alison kosik has the latest. alison, good morning. >> good morning, soledad. we're getting a closer look at where the gunman lived with his mother nancy, a very quiet, affluent neighborhood here in sandy hook. the house is a big house sitting
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on top of the hill. even a wreath above the front door. we're also learning new details of how the gunman got into the school, despite the fact that the school had security, that it locked its doors at 9:30, had to be buzzed into the school. we are learning how many weapons he on him, how much ammunition he was carrying. the gunman, adam lanza, fired dozens of bullets, using a semiautomatic weapon, using a pistol to kill himself. >> the weapon has been identified as a bushmaster ar-15 assault style weapon. high-capacity magazines, and, in addition, the subject had a glock .10 millimeter and .9 millimeter sig sauer. all weapons had additional
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magazines. >> a fourth weapon was found in a car outside the school. we are learning more about the shooter's activities in the days, weeks and months leading up to the second worst mass school shooting in u.s. history. lanza visited a gun range. we do not know where or when. an atf spokesperson says his mother, nancy lanza, visited a shooting range multiple times. her son also killed her. as for motive, authorities are still searching for answers. >> we're pleased with the work that's been done so far. i'm hoping that helps answer that question. we're pleased with the progress that we're making. this is a very long, tedious process. >> and federal agents are especially focusing on the weapons this gunman has, specifically they are visiting gun ranges and gun dealers in
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the area. >> something like 400 gun dealers in a four-state area, four-county area and something like 30 gun ranges as well. appreciate the update. more from zoraida sambolin. zoraida really focused on the victims of this tragedy. more to update us on. zorai zoraida. >> i do, soledad. i am at treadwell park. behind us is a soccer field. we're expecting a press conference at 9:00. we'll bring that to you. but you have to wonder, how many of these children, these victims and family members have actually enjoyed this park. we want to focus on those little victims. 6-year-old charlotte bacon loved school and dresses. we're told, her hair a mass of beautiful red curls. we are remembering her this morning. as well as 7-year-old daniel barden. a budding athlete. a member of the swim team and avid soccer player.
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he really earned his ripped jeans and two missing front teeth. olivia engel. her favorite stuffed animal was a lamb. favorite colors pink and purple. a girl scout and involved in musical theater. she loved math and loved reading. 7-year-old josephine gay liked to ride her bike in the street and set up her own lemonade stand every summer. she loved the color purple. and the opinion pal principal o, dawn hochsprung, 47 years old. lived in woodbury, connecticut, with her husband, two daughters and three stepdaughters. these are just some of the victims that we want to introduce you to. their memories being honored in this community and across the country. later this morning, we'll bring you the profiles of the rest of those who lost their lives on friday. soledad. >> zoraida, i'm so glad you are doing that. so nice to learn more about the children and some of the victims. sometimes we spend so much time
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on the suspect and all the investigation around the suspect. so much nicer to focus on those whose lives should be remembered. we should bring in pastor rocky veach. nice to have you with us. >> thank you. >> you were in denver when columbine happened. are you a pastor here, father of five as well. what have you learned from living through the columbine experience that are you now able to apply here and you can help the people that are you pastoring? >> i think maybe just the general experience of going through it, understanding how it affects people, how it affects the community and trying to be there for people in the midst of that again. just having gone through it, i think really that's the only thing. i don't think you can be prepared for it, especially to happen a second time. very shocking still. >> i bet. you have been holding vigils. what do you tell people? as a pastor, i'm sure -- as reporters we ask this all the time. why? this cannot be god's plan.
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this cannot be. this is just evil over good. >> it's not god's plan. evil has a persona behind it, there is a devil. if you are christian, you have to believe that. we try to approach it from the unseen realm. there are sometimes things going on in the unseen realm that is seen in the sceeen realm. that's why we pray. >> this community doesn't want to be defined by this tragedy. how do you do that? >> my job, helping them get in touch with the lord, get in touch with god, and then let the lord bring the lives of the people touched here, affected here, whatever hements to do in this town. my job is simple really. get people to pray. sometimes people have a hard time believing in god or seeing -- understanding why this happened. so we try to tell our parishioners and other people, why don't we pray. if we don't believe now, let's
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pretend like we do in prayer until we do. let the lord have his hand in newtown. >> what was the most helpful thing for the people in columbi columbine, trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy, much as they are trying to figure it out here? >> good leadership in the community was seen there, in all of the same aspects as it's seen there. i think the churches came together, worked together for all of the people. we are certainly trying to do that. if we can work together, think we'll see a good outcome. >> pastor rocky veach,e appreciate your time this morning. >> you're welcome. the shootings in newtown have reignited the gun control debate. we'll hear from a children's health expert on the importance of improving safety at schools. after the massacre at virginia tech, what has been accomplished between then and now. >> we'll leave you with one of the most moving things i have seen on television, certainly late night children in years.
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the new york children's chorus singing "silent night" in tribute to the victims in this community on "saturday light live." ♪ holy infant so tender and mild sleep in heaven ly peace sleep n heavenly peace ♪ is it really 100 calories? let me put you on webcan... ...lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
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welcome back, everybody. as a nation grieves, experts are examining how the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school could have been prevented. >> dr. irwin redletter, head of columbia university's center for national preparedness. he joins us to talk about this. also president and cofounder of the children's health fund. doctor, we talk to you normally after natural disasters. you talk about preparedness for all types of things. preparing for natural disaster is one thing. preparing for a school shooting seems to be a totally different
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type of thing. how do you prepare? >> it is incredibly difficult. and particularly when we talk about elementary schoolchildren. high schools is difficult enough. but in elementary schools, this is completely unchartered territory. preparing means several concrete steps that need to be taken. one is very serious control of entry into the schools and this has to be taken very seriously, and i think in most schools, they are starting to get that picture, secondly, there has to be a very clear plan about what to do in the event of a situation like we experienced here. and in this situation, actually, the school seemed to be really quite amazingly prepared in terms of people knowing what they needed to do, having a lockdown procedure, and having the teachers be so extraordinarily, really heroic, in following the plan, in following their own judgment about what to do to protect as many kids as possible, and under the circumstances, they did really well. but we really are in unchartered territory in figuring out
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exactly how much further we need to do. people are mentioning whether we want school administrators being armed, which i don't agree with, or should there be a police presence? there are all sorts of issues now that will be brought up and a lot of discussion will take place before we come to a conclusion about what needs to be done here. >> you testified in the wake of the virginia tech shootings and talked about the loopholes in the gun laws that allowed a gunman that had a mental illness get access to weapons. and you talked about not quite loopholes, but obstacles to getting help for people who have problems with mental illness. >> it's actually a terrible challenge. of all of the issues with access to health care generally, one of the most difficult things to get access to is competent mental health care when you need it. and for a lot of people and a lot of people in america, including in our own families and neighborhoods who have all sorts of issues involving psychological or behavioral
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problems and it's difficult, there is a significatigma attac you have a problem enough to see somebody. we have to get over this stigma. and when we need mental health providers, it's not so easy to get it. particularly true for people who aren't so affluent. who have financial troubles, not covered by insurance, so forth. we have somebody honestly very disturbed for a long period of time most likely. we don't know all of the details yet. who had the resources in the family no question the help needed. but even when that's the case, you have to talk somebody into, make sure they get the help they need and sometimes that's impossible to do. we have to really figure that out as well. >> and the two things intercept, it's deadly. who becomes unhinged, combined with easy access to weapons. >> and a country with 280 million weapons, and a lot of people with all sorts of issues from a mental health point of
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view. it's a toxic mix. and it's very, very rare, i had say. rarely we'll see this horrible outcome, like the disaster we saw in connecticut a few days ago. >> dr. irwin redleder, we appreciate your insight. ahead, we'll meet the family of victoria society to. she is a brave teacher that died saving many of her students. >> live from newtown, back in a moment. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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welcome back to "starting point." we follow the latest evon the tragic school shooting, we're following the rest of the news. police in bristol, connecticut, arrested someone for making a threat online against bristol high school. bristol is about 30 miles from newtown, connecticut. later today, the state department is anded to get the results of an independent review board on the terror attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi. congress will receive the report wednesday and will be briefed by board members, hearings and testimony in the house and senate start thursday. secretary of state hillary clinton was supposed to testify, but she is recovering from a
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fainting spell and concussion. she'll be working from home. football took a back seat on sunday as victor cruz honored one of the newtown shooting victims. 6-year-old jack pinto. jack pinto was a big, big fan. victor truz wrote the boy's name on his cleats and gloves. the team wore decals on their helmets for sandy hook elementary school. the first grader may be buried in cruz' number 80 jersey. potential progress. yesterday a source family with talks says house speaker john boehner has offered to extend the debt limit for a year. that is the amount the government can legally borrow. it stands at 16$16.4 trillion. raising it requires an act of congress which republicans strongly oppose this one day after boehner had opposed higher
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tax rates for those making less than $1 million. president obama wants to raise taxes for those making more than $250,000. all eyes remain on whether lawmakers can seal a deal. many economists, including the fed chief ben bernanke, says that this could pull the nation back into recession. >> that would be awful. still ahead on our special edition of "starting point" from newtown, connecticut there, are some who say if a teacher had been armed inside the elementary school, maybe this tragedy could have been prevented, that is what many gun advocates has been suggesting. we'll talk to john lott, who think that current gun laws shouldn't be strengthened, they should be tossed out. plus, she died trying to protect her first grade students. we'll hear from victoria soto's family, that up next on "starting point." [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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is to return them to class as soon as possible. they will eventually use the chalk hill school in monroe, connecticut. about seven miles from here. >> people nationwide are paying respects with the twitter campaign, urging everyone to wear green and white today. those were -- those are sandy hook school colors. president obama was here, consoling grief-stricken parents and bringing them a message. >> i come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. >> our main focus is on the victims, but we are also learning more about the gunman today. a relative says he was pulled out of the newtown school system by his mother, who was unhappy with their plans for her troubled son. >> and you saw a moment ago as the law enforcement officials walked into where they were holding a vigil and how people were cheering and patting them on the back. such an emotional moment on the vigil. they have been a rock for this
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community. imagine what they have seen in responding to that elementary school. must be a on horrible thing for them. we want to turn to john lott, author of a book called "more guns, less crime." that's his theory in a nutshell. if people had more guns, there would be more opportunity for self-defense, and not only would he not like to see new gun laws, he would like to see current laws taken off the books all together. thank you for joining me. on friday, you were talking to piers and with wolf yesterday, and you said it's time to get rid of gun laws, the takeaway for you of this massacre at an elementary school it's time to get rid of gun laws. how does that possibly make sense to you? >> well, because of my research, i'vealked to dozens of people who have been present at horrible events over time, and the feeling of utter helplessness is overwhelming for these individuals. it's hard to think of something more terrifying than being helpless there when one of these
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attacks occurs. there is one common feature across the attacks. the ones the president mentioned, you go back from 1950 at least on, with only one exception, all the multiple victim public shootings have occurred where more than three people have been killed, have occurred where guns are banned. we try to make an area safe by banning guns, but what happens is, it's a law-abiding good citizens who obey the ban and not the criminals, and rather than making -- >> but more than one thing in common, right? there is one more thing in common. one thing is common is that something has weapons too, and they go into a place where they should not be with a weapon. so i would say it's not just one thing in common. they are also armed often to the hit and with automatic weapons or semiautomatic weapons. >> never with automatic weapons, but with semiautomatic weapons,
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sure. but here is the point. we only have tiny areas in the united states where thaw are completely gun-free zones, but time after time, that's the place these criminals go. take the aurora, colorado, movie theater shootings. seven movie theaters within a 20-minute car ride of the killer's apartment. only one that banned guns. he didn't go to the movie theater closest to his home. he didn't go to the movie theater that was largest. the one he went to was the only one that banned guns, and you see that -- >> let me stop you there. let me stop you there. here, again, a case where someone had a semi automatic riffle, how do you know that he chose that because they banned guns? have talked to him? i have not seen anywhere in any transit of anything he has said that he picked it specifically for that. he has not spoken to the media. how do you know that? you don't know that. >> okay. there are two points.
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one, i don't know in this particular case. he picks one out of seven. only one there, and the point is, every time. go look at the mall shootings, most of the malls in the area aren't posted as gun-free zones, the only ones they pick are the ones that are banned. pick the columbine case. you probably don't know -- let me give you one piece of information here. take the columbine case. did you thank dylan klebold was writing state legislators, strongly against it, particularly upset a law that would allow concealed handguns on school property and the day the columbine attack occurred, it occurred on the day of final passage of the state concealed handgun law. >> but, listen, why is your takeaway. >> that is at columbine. >> why is your takeaway to get rid of gun laws rather than
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there are people that should not have access to weapons. in this particular case, we know that the investigation is just at the beginning stages, but we know he used a semiautomatic rifle to blow out the glass wall at the school. the security is useless. why? because he had a high-velocity, multishot with many rounds with him to access the school. why would you not say, that's exactly the kind of weapon that someone should not be able to easily get their hands on? and he was able easily to get his hands on it. it was legally registered to his mother. why is that not your takeaway? >> you know what country had two of the three worst public shootings prior to friday? it was germany. germany had three of the five worst public school shootings in the world. now, they have extremely strict gun control laws. you can't get semiautomatic weapons. it takes a year to get a bolt
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action long rifle there. yet they has the worst record than we have here in the united states, even with this attack. so i -- >> i don't see how any of that brings you to the decision that the answer is to get rid of gun laws. the other question i would ask you -- >> because they serve as a magnet for these attacks. >> or -- or a rational person could say -- or a rational person could say that having access to a high-powered semiautomatic rifle is inappropriate. that there is no reason to go deer hunting with that, no reason to have access to that. that's the connection that these killers have access to those weapons. let me ask you another question. >> no, i want to answer that that you just said. no, i don't argue second amendment. i argue crime. that's what i do. i want to answer your question here. these guns are just like any
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hunting rifle. the inside guts, they fire one bullet. in fact, bushmaster gun there is -- would be the equivalent of a rifle that would be used for hunting very small game, like squirrels. it looks different on the outside, because some people like to have guns that look like military weapons, but it's not. it's like any hunting rifle. >> sir, sir -- >> if you want to ban all hunting rifles, that's fine. >> sir, if you are trying to kill a large number of people in a massacre, that's the kind of gun you grab. >> a hunting rifle would do the same thing. >> if you could inflict as much carnage on people, that's the kind of gun you grab. how you could say we should have fewer laws, not more, it boggles the mind. if you would come and talk to the people in the town here, they would be stunned by you.
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>> unfortunately, i talked to multiple people that have been victims of public shootings. guns are beneficial for self-defense. if you had two criminals coming at you, you don't want a gun that only fires one shot like that. what are you going to do? what are you going to do? you can't even fire a warning shot. if you miss the first shot and you don't have a semiautomatic gun, what do you do for self-defense at this point? >> and if you have -- if you have a man who seems to be troubled and he is armed with a semiautomatic weapon, a rifle, then there is a high likelihood that is he going to massacre a lot of people in one location, sir, in a very small amount of time. we could continue this debate for a long time, i appreciate you talking with me this morning, but i just -- i have to say, your position -- your position completely boggles me, honestly. i just do not understand it. thank you for talking with us. i want to bring in deepak chopra. because i get so frustrated at
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times when i have these conversations and many people point back to the second amendme amendment, which we should read for everybody, because it's used often as a position. >> remember, soledad, when the second amendment was written, people had muskets, it took 20 minutes to load one and half the time they missed. the second amendment wasn't written for assault weapons, ammunition, and the easy availability of these guns of mass destruction over the internet. >> here is what it says. a well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of the people the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infrin d infringed. it doesn't mention assault weapons. >> there weren't any. >> i guess right now people seem very frustrated and angry about where we are in in country in the debate over mental health and weapons. kind of the intersection of those two things. i get the sense often we wring our hands until the next
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tragedy, there may not be anything tangibly done. >> see, one single mentally unstable person brought the whole country to this state of deep sorrow, anguish. if that doesn't galvanize our collective psyche to change these laws, then we are going to live for the next half a century in a culture of violence. there is no other country, no other advanced country -- >> people could tick off and you know this well, not only mental health issues, not only easy access to guns. movies, absolutely glorify violence, video games seem to be relevant in this case, especially violent video games, and everybody likes to point -- >> all of that is part of the context, but you cannot kill on the scale unless have you a gun. oh, people kill people, not guns, but people use guns to
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kill. you know we do have to slowly create a culture of kindness and love and compassion and empathy, that's what a civil society should be doing. in the meanwhile, you have to actually get rid of the assault weapons that are directly responsible for the killing. >> all right, depack. we have to wrap this up. we have a lot more questions. not just about what happened with the guns and the violence in our society. but also how to move on. how to fin the inner peace to deal with these issues. we look forward to talking to more on that. zoraida sambolin, she has more details on the victims of the crime. >> john, deepak chopra says this brings us deep sorrow and anguish, and as i read this and i'm about to share this, it actually made me smile. we want to talk about the victims that were lost on friday. remembering 6-year-old dylan hockley. he loved video games, jumping on a trampoline, watching movies
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and eating garlic bread. madeline huh, six years old. a little girl who always wore bright and flowery dresses. we're also remembering 6-year-old catherine hubbard. she loved animals and in lieu of flowers, her family is asking for donations to the newtown animal shelter. chase kowalski, he had just completed and won his first mini triathlon. jesse lewis, 6 years old, loved math and riding horses and playing at his mother's farm. 6-year-old james mattioli, he was a happy child that would wait for the school bus at the bottom of the family's driveway with his dad and anne marie murphy, married, mother of four. she is described as being artistic and hard working. and another sandy hook teacher,
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27-year-old vickie soto, many remembered for heroism under fire. she spent her final moments shielding her students from harm, hiding them in a closet before a gunman entered her classroom. her mother is not surprised by her daughter's actions. >> she was truly selfless, she would not hesitate to think to save anyone else before herself and especially children. she loved them more than life and she -- she would definitely put herself in front of them any day, any day for any reason. so it doesn't surprise anybody that knows vickie that she did this. >> soto's mother says teaching was all vickie ever wanted to do, since the age of three actually. to find out how you can help those affected by the tragedy, go to there are a lot of option there for you, ways you can help and feel like you're doing something. john, soledad. >> thank you so much, zoraida.
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so nice to hear the stories. one of the questions we're asking, how do you help children grieve, understanding the tragedy. dr. sanjay gupta, getting miked up right there. we'll talk about in this a moment. we'll be right back. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair
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one of the most difficult things moving forward in any tragedy, how to explain exactly what has happened to children, especially since children have been the victims in this particular crime. >> oh, yeah. you had to explain it both to those who witnessed the tragedy and those who may be hearing about it right now, on the radio, in television, at other kids in school. we're joined by dr. sanjay gupta, who has been looking into this the past few days. we talked yesterday, sanjay. a question very personal to me. i am struggling how to talk to my kids, whether to talk to my kids. are there right answers here? >> i think the answer of talking to your kids as opposed to ignoring it is probably the only right answer. and assuming they will find out. i know you both have children.
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you both have twins. and i have a 7, 5, and 3-year-old. my 7-year-old already knew about it i'm positive my 5-year-old will learn about it today and we're already prepping for that conversation. i think that the idea that you check your own feelings first, in medicine, check your own pulse before going into a code, in this situation, checking your own feelings. don't overtalk to your child. that is a constant concern i've been hearing. you let them talk first. see what they are saying, what they know. a little bit about feelings and as appropriate, fill in details. don't be graphic, probably not appropriate at any age. you have to have the conversation. >> what do you say, is my school safe? my kids talking about it. very upset. i've been gone a couple of days. and walk in the door, they are happy to see you, and then burst into tears, because this is very upsetting. >> you don't lie.
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everyone says that loss of innocence -- i remember, soledad, when we were covering some of the conflicts, and i remember being in a red cross truck, and the red cross truck i came under fire, and i remember thinking the rules have changed. >> what do you say? >> what i said to my 7-year-old, this never happened in daddy's school, never happened in mommy's school. it happened here obviously, but we're doing everything we can to make sure it will never happen to you. kids will see through it if you make false promises. >> a woman wrote a fascinating blog, sent around twitter. and it says i adam am lanza's mother. she writes about her experience with her son. i live with a son who is mentally ill. i love my son, but he terrifies me. when i asked my son about social workers what i should do, if is
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he is in the system, there will be a paper trail. no one will pay attention to you unless have you charges. i don't believe my son belongs in jail. he's 13 years old. >> i feel strongly about this. i have done a lot of reporting. right now, short of going into the criminal justice system, which you will give your kid a record, and parents, it's obviously a tough thing. short of that, to get someone impatient therapy, they have to be an imminent harm to themselves or others. and over and over again, we hear the first time they see that when something tragic happens. there wasn't evidence of imminent harm to themselves or others. a very, very high threshold. that is not parity. you don't go into the doctor for a physical only when you're about to die. >> if you have a heart attack, we'll see you. >> when people talk about mental health, you guys have been talking all morning about it. that's the manifestation of not having things on par. >> what threshold are you talking about? >> right now it has to be
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imminent harm to yourself or to others. >> what's an appropriate one? >> well, if someone has symptoms of mental illness that are short of that -- there's all sorts of different things. we talk about depression. there's a whole combination of things, changes in appetite, changes in sleeping, all these types of things that may seem minor in comparison but are the progression of a much more serious illness. >> then does a doctor have to report that? i have a patient who is severely mentally ill, and they could do something? i could see the slippery slope of what you're going to be asking a trained mental professional. >> that's the whole point. you want to get before that point. you want to see them before they are potentially imminent harm to themselves or to others. that's the thing. mental illness is treated only in crisis situations right now. >> every budget cut cuts medicaid, which is the number one health provider. >> even for people who are insured and have good resources, this is a way of life for them. >> it is a terrible conundrum. we keep talking about that
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intersection between a gun culture, a violent culture, access to weapons, and lack of funding for mental health issues. really it's a terrible -- >> it's not an either/or. you've got to talk about both. >> there are many people in this community turning to places of worship to get a sense of comfort. we're going to talk to a young man who's a local religious leader for young people, talking about what they're doing to help this small town grieve. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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it is in such times of almost unbearable loss that we seek the comfort with our creator and that artificial divisions of faith fall away to reveal a nation of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters -- all united in a desire to bring healing and renewed hope. >> last night the clergy here in newtown, connecticut, gathered to offer prayers and mess geagef hope to the grieving communities.
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you just saw the director of new hadea center of newtown. what can you say to give children comfort? you're the youth director. i know you're dealing with a lot of children. what can you possibly say that makes sense of something like this? >> it's very hard because a lot of children still haven't really wrapped their heads around it, and i don't think they really will understand the gravity of what really happened. it is very difficult, especially for people in the surrounding areas. i know a lot of towns, nearby towns were affected and on lockdown too. a lot of people still trying to make sense of everything. >> i was speaking to a parent of someone who died in the virginia tech massacre. he told me, it's impossible to move on, but you can move forward. >> yeah, it's true. it's going to be difficult to return to things being normal. there's always going to be that kind of -- they say time heals all wounds, but there's still going to be a scar, if that makes sense. there's always going to be a
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reminder, but it just -- you have to just keep moving on and take measures to -- you learn from the past. it's -- what's the word i'm looking for? you're always going to be reminded of it. there's no way to forget. >> when do you think the first time you'll have a sermon, a first weekend when you will not be talking about this. when will that be? is >> i don't know, quite honestly. i think it's going to be on everybody's minds for a long time. it's very raw. it's very real. it still feels very unreal to people, like i'm still in a state of shock. i still -- it still feels weird to wake up and realize this wasn't just a bad dream. this actually happened. >> you're a local. you went to school here. you grew up here. >> i grew up in newtown. >> so does it make it easier for you in some ways because these are your people that you're counseling, or is it harder because this is your town and something terrible has happened here? >> i think, in a way, it helps because you know the people, but
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at the same time, it's difficult because you're experiencing the same thing they're going through, and you need it just as bad as the other person that you're counseling because it's a shock for you as well. >> what kinds of questions are the young people asking you? what's the thing that they want to know? >> a lot of people, a lot of especially the young kids, like especially on friday and this weekend, they don't know. they're hearing all the information from their parents. they're hearing all the information from the news, and everyone has different stories, and a lot of kids just want to know what happened or if -- or what's -- basically, what's going on because sometimes they don't want to tell -- some of the children are very young. you don't want to tell a 5-year-old the gravity of what happened. and people just say it was bad guys, or they're going to tell them once they're a little more ready. >> how do you find is the best
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way to communicate with these children? >> i don't want to muddy it, but i don't want to tell them something that would be, "a," too shocking or, "b," don't understand the gravity of it. you have to tell them very -- not -- i'm a middle ground. >> right, there's a middle ground. you can't give them the explicit details. you have to tell them something very bad happened. >> i don't know how you do your job. jason graves, thank you for your time. it's a terrible task you have now and for the next several months and years maybe because i don't think this is a process that's going to be completed for anyone any time soon certainly. >> and as our special coverage here continues from newtown, connecticut, we will have a cnn exclusi exclusive. we're going to hear from the family of dawn hochsprung. she, of course, was the principal at the sandy hook elementary school. she lost her life trying to subdue the gunman moments before she was killed. so we have ongoing webinars and interactive learning,
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newtown, connecticut, swallowed by grief this morning after the unimaginable loss of 20 children and 6 adults all killed inside an elementary school. today they prepare to bury the first of the victims. >> we will move on. we will never forget. we will in many ways be made stronger. >> president obama visiting gree grieving families and showing support during an evening vigil says we must do more. >> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. now questions around the tragedy as we forget about that unforgettable friday morning, but the ultimate question remains, why did it happen?
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welcome, everyone. you're watching a special edition of "starting point." we're coming to you live this morning from newtown, connecticut, and i'm joined by "early start" co-anchor john berman. there are two 6-year-old boys who will be laid to rest this morning as kids around the country will be heading for class. funeral scheduled for jack pinto, little guy who loved the new york giants. and noah pozner, the youngest of the 26 victims who died inside the sandy hook elementary school on friday. he was a twin. his sister survived. >> president obama was in town last night, first trying to comfort the grieving in private, and then publicly trying to use his powers as president to stop these unspeakable acts. >> this is our first task, caring for our children. can we truly say as a nation that we're meeting our obligations.
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>> swing it around. okay. >> come now almighty king. one, two, three, ready and go. ♪ come now almighty king >> we will be remembering the fallen all morning. you're going to get to know more about all the victims, like ana marquez-green marquez-green, this adorable little girl who loved to sing and write love letters to her parents. >> it's horrible looking at these children. >> beautiful, beautiful little girl. we want the focus to be on the victims as much as possible, but more information on the suspected shooter. what police say about how he got into the school and why he may have chosen the sandy hook elementary school as his target. >> 20 funerals for 20 children, the first of which being held in newtown. sandra endooutside the church in
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the community has more for us. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. the pain of this community being felt across the country. last night president obama speaking to residents here at newtown, offering words of comfort and support and also offering condolences from across the nation. >> as a community, you've inspired us, newtown. in the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you've looked out for each other. you've cared for one another. and you've loved one another. this is how newtown will be remembered, and with time and god's grace, that love will see you through. >> the president also met with victims' family members, and last night the daughter, the
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30-year-old daughter of slain principal dawn hochsprung wrote this tweet. "my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her granddaughter, but not as proud as i am of her." again, two funerals today, one for 6-year-old noah pozner, and another for 6-year-old jack pinto. 18 more funerals for the children of friday's tragedy in the days to come. and the schools here in newtown will be closed today, as staff talk to experts to figure out how to deal with this tragedy and how to talk to students. the students at sandy hook elementary, they will remain out of school until the neighboring school could accommodate these students, and that will be figured out in the days to come. soledad? >> sandra endofor us this morning. thank you, sandra. appreciate it. >> the investigation into this massacre is a painstaking process. it's being conducted around the
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clock by the state police. police have now positively identified adam lanza as the gunman. they also confirmed that he did, in fact, kill himself. what we don't know yet is precisely why he targeted the sandy hook school and all those 20 innocent children inside. >> alison kosik has the latest on the investigation for us. she's outside the suspect's home this morning with more. alison, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. we are getting a closer look at where adam lanza lived with his mother nancy at the house right behind me. up on the hill, it almost looks picture perfect with a wreath over the front door there. we're also learning new details of how this gunman got into the school, knowing that you had to be buzzed in as of 9:30, that the doors were locked as of 9:30, that he shot his way into the school. we're also learning how many weapons he had with him and how much ammunition he was carrying as well. the gunman, adam lanza, fired dozens of bullets using a semiautomatic rifle on his victims, leaving a pistol to
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kill himself. >> the weapon that was utilized most of the time during this horrific crime was identified as a bushmaster ar-15 assault type weapon. had high capacity magazines, and in addition to that, the subject had in his possession a glock 10 millimeter, sig sauer .9 millimeter, and all weapons had multiple magazines and additional ammunition. >> reporter: as authorities continue to focus their effort on the school crime scene, we're learning more about the shooter's activities in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the second worst mass shooting in history. lanza visited a gun range. we do not know where or when. an atf spokeswoman also tells cnn his mother, nancy lanza, visited a shooting range
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multiple times. her son also killed her. as for motive, authorities are still searching for answers. >> we're pleased with the work that's been done so far. i'm hoping that helps answer that question. we're pleased with the progress that we're making. this is a very long, tedious process. >> reporter: and federal agents continue chasing lots of leads, trying to figure out what this gunman was up to in those days, weeks, and months before this shooting. they're visiting as many as 30 gun ranges and hundreds of gun dealers in the area. soledad? >> alison kosik for us. lieutenant vance from the state police described it, alison, as peeling back the layers of the onion. we can see in your report there's still a lot to dig into, maybe some questions they may be able to answer ultimately. thank you for that report. want to get to steven barton. steven was hit by 25 shotgun pellets in his face, his neck, and his chest. happened during the aurora,
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colorado movie theater shooting back in july. you might remember that 12 people were killed, 58 people wounded on that day. steven currently works as an outreach and policy associate for mayors against illegal guns. he also lives about ten minutes from here. you've had so much interaction with guns in a terrible way from sort of your hometown to what you experienced in aurora, colorado. i want to start by playing a little bit of what the president said in the vigil from last night. listen. >> in the coming weeks, i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> he said law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents -- all of them need to come together to do something. have you been disappointed in what the president has done so far?
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>> certainly. we have basically heard the same message after aurora, after tucson, and those words weren't followed by any action. i mean, he spoke more forcefully last night, but it remains to be seen if anything will actually come of those words. >> what would you like to see? if you could write legislation and get it passed tomorrow, what would it include? >> the easiest way to start reducing the number of deaths by guns in this country is by just requiring a background check for every gun sale. currently, 40% of guns sold in this country under federal law aren't subject to a background check. there's been a lot of talk about high cap magazines, assault weapons, but if you want to reduce the 34 americans murdered with guns every single day, background checks are the easiest way to do that and the simplest way to do that. >> "the new york times" is reporting that, after the shooting in aurora, that was something that was discussed. the justice department did put together a list of things that could be done. it was just never brought up or presented as something to enact.
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is that frustrating to you? >> definitely. especially when you consider it's a measure that enjoys wide support in the public, even among nra gun owners. >> it would not have helped in this case, though. we know that these guns in this particular case, in this tragedy, which is what has really, i think, kind of grabbed people's attention finally, if you will, that would not have made a difference. >> and that's the unfortunate reality of having guns in a free society is that we can't stop all violent acts. but there are some pretty easy measures that are agreed upon by many people, such as having background checks. and that, i think, is a starting point. and then beyond that, we can have discussions. that to me is the best way to do this. >> steven barton, thank you for talking with us this morning. we appreciate it. we saw a lot from the mayors against illegal guns. they've really been leveraging off this issue to make their position known and maybe get some traction for their issues. want to get right back to
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zoraida sambolin. she's been covering the details of the victims, as john's been mentioning all morning, we really wanted to focus on those who lost their lives and not on the name of the shooter, the killer. let's get right to zoraida. >> reporter: it's been really great to be able to know these kids a little bit better and some of the adults also who lost their lives. i want to mention where i'm at. i'm at treadwell park, and this is where most of the press conferences are taking place. we know that state police, we're expecting to hear from them somewhere around 9:00 or 9:30 eastern. you can see it's light out now. it's a soccer field. you can't help but wonder how many of these little victims and their families spent time playing in this very park where we are now. we are remembering 7-year-old grace mcdonnell. little grace mcdonnell. she loved dress up jewelry. she loved gymnastics and soccer. emilie parker, age 6. her father said she could light up a room. she was a mentor to her two
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younger sisters, ages 3 and 4. 6-year-old jack pinto, an avid wrestler with the newtown youth wrestling association and a big new york giants fan. his funeral is being held today. noah pozner, he's also 6 years old. his aunt says he had a huge heart and was so much fun. a bit rambunctious with lots of spirit. he was really the light of a room. he will also be laid to rest today. then there is 6-year-old caroline previdi. her efforts to make people laugh earned her the nickname silly caroline. and then there's 30-year-old lauren rousseau, a substitute teacher at sandy hook elementary. her mother said lauren wanted to be a teacher before she even went to kindergarten. later this morning, we'll bring you more profiles of the newtown school shooting victims. it's so nice to be able to get to know them a bit, john and soledad. >> we so appreciate you doing a
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nice remembrance of the little bit that we know. some of these victims, 6 and 7-year-olds, it is. it's nice as we get to hear more about the children and less about the shooter in this case. >> she said one of the kids earned the rips and the tears in his jeans. i just love that imagery. >> ahead this morning, we're going to tell you about a cnn exclusive honoring dawn hochsprung. we'll hear from the family of the sandy hook principal. she gave her life while trying to protect her students. that ahead. >> and "saturday night live" did an incredible tribute honoring the lives of those lost in the newtown massacre. i want to leave you with the new york city children's chorus. they opened the show with silent night. "round yon virgin mother and child ♪ ♪ holy infant so tender and mild ♪
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welcome back. you're watching a special edition of "starting point." i want to tell you about the principal at sandy hook elementary school. she was appointed just two years ago, and on friday, just before she was killed, dawn hochsprung tried to subdue the gunman. >> cnn's gary tuchman spoke exclusively with the family as they now honor her family. >> reporter: principal dawn hochsprung was quite a bit younger than her husband george, but when they got married, both for the second time, she with two daughters and he with three, george was marrying his boss. >> she was an assistant principal at our school. at the middle school, and i was a seventh grade math teacher at that time. i just fell in love with her.
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>> reporter: george made the big decision, the time had come to propose. >> she turned me down five times. >> reporter: you asked her to marry you, but she turned you down. >> five times. >> reporter: what happened the sixth time? >> the sixth time, i waited until it wasn't such rough sailing. >> reporter: indeed, george had been popping the question on a sailboat they bought together. >> we got married on a sloop out of mystic. >> reporter: beth, amy, and ann are george's daughters from a first marriage. erica is dawn's daughter from a first marriage. their daugherty nawaz out of the house. they're a blended but close family with 11 grandchildren. >> we built a beautiful house in the adirondacks, our dream. the dream was a chronological dream. it was going to be dawn's house because i was going to die. i'm much older than dawn. it was going to be dawn's house. dawn's grandchildren and all these children could use the house on the lake, and it would be wonderful. we built rooms downstairs for kids. it was going to be dawn's house ultimately.
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with all the children. all the children. and now it's me. i can't -- i don't think i can do that. >> reporter: but i want to reiterate to you, george, you have these beautiful daughters and son-in-laws and grandchildren, and everyone will be here to take care of you. is that right, ladies? >> yes. >> my job has always been to take care of other people. >> reporter: it's all right if someone takes care of you for a while. >> no one has ever taken care of me. >> stop being so stubborn. >> reporter: while dawn was the principal at sandy hook, george was still at the middle school where they met. in the middle of the day on friday, this is how george found out what happened. >> the kids came up with a computer and said something is happening at sandy hook school, and your wife's been killed. >> reporter: george raced out of school and into a nightmare. like all the families of victims, they want to know more. on this day, they have learned more. two teachers who survived told george they were having a
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meeting with dawn when the shots started ringing out. >> dawn put herself in jeopardy, and i have been angry about that, angry until just now today, when i met the two women that she told to go under shelter while she actually confronted the gunman. she could not -- she could have avoided that, and she didn't. i knew she wouldn't. so i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm not angry at her. i'm not angry. i'm just very sad. and they said, we're at the meeting. there were gunshots. somebody shot the window. somebody came in, into the -- not into the office, but into the building, the foyer of the building, and dawn told us to go hide. and she and at least one other
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teacher ran out and actually tried to subdue the killer. i don't know where that comes from. dawn was, what, 5'2". >> reporter: everyone here is so proud, no one more so than erica, who said her mom was always there for her daughters. >> every game, she was there. every practice, she was there. all of my sister's cheerleading stuff, she was there. every dance competition. she was doing homework on the bleachers, but she was there. and she was my rock. my rock. >> reporter: and now she is a hero too. final thing i want to ask you is what would you say to your mom right now? >> come back. just come back. >> reporter: they are such a kind, wonderful family. we're so grateful they allowed
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us into their home to spend the time with them. of the five daughters, two of them live here in connecticut. three of them, one of them lives in pennsylvania, one in new hampshire, one in london, but they all stayed together with their father for the time being, strength in numbers. you know what's really amazing to me, it's almost 18 years ago we had the oklahoma city many booing. 19 children were killed in the oklahoma city many booinbombing of 168 people. bill clinton came. there was a service like last night. it was such traumatic deja vu for me experiencing that and seeing the same thing over again. it's so depressing. >> you could see the love in that family, but also the admiration that they had for dawn hochsprung. >> they loved her. they were so proud of her, and they just wanted that story to get out. i hope we did it justice. >> you did it great justice, gary. thank you. >> thank you so much. ahead this morning, he spoke with one of the parents of the columbine shooters. why do some men become mass murderers? we're going to have the special coverage live from newtown, connecticut in a moment. [ nyquil bottle ] hey tylenol, you know we're kinda like twins. [ tylenol bottle ] we are?
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welcome back to "starting point," as we are tracking the latest stories. new word from bristol, connecticut, only 30 miles from the scene of the newtown massacre, police arrested a student for allegedly making a threat against bristol central high school. authorities not revealing the nature of the threat, but they said that no one was in any danger.
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south carolina governor nicki haley will announce in a few hours who she will appoint to replace retired senator jim demint. demint is leaving the senate next month to head up a conservative think tank. progress in fiscal cliff negotiations. yesterday a source familiar with the talks told cnn that house speaker john boehner has offered to extend the debt limit for a year as part of the deficit reduction deal. the debt ceiling, the amount the government can borrow, stands at $16.4 trillion. raising it requires an act of congress, which republicans strongly oppose. that news came one day after a source said boehner had offered to raise tax rates on those americans with annual incomes over $1 million. u.s. stock futures slightly higher this morning. can lawmakers strike a deal to avoid the $7 trillion in tax increases and spending cuts over the next decade? going over the cliff is something economists, including federal reserve chief ben bernanke say could pull the economy back into recession. markets are behaving as if we won't go over the cliff. the s&p 500 is up almost 12.5% this year.
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historically, december has been the strongest month for stocks since 1950. markets usually experience what's known as a santa claus rally. however, this year, of course, markets hinge on those fiscal cliff negotiations in washington. soled dad, john? >> christine, thanks. ahead on this special edition of "starting point" coming to you from newtown, connecticut, what causes a young man to become so violent and kill innocent people? a psychology professor who studied mass shootings interviewed the family of one of the columbine killers. we'll talk about what he discovered. and she died trying to save her room full of first graders. vicki soto's family talks about this heroic young woman when we return. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer.
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welcome back, everybody, you're watching a special edition of "starting point," and we're coming to you live from newtown, connecticut. two little boys, just 6 years old, they'll be buried today. they're the first of the more than two dozen funerals that folks in this town will have to endure after friday's massacre
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at sandy hook elementary school. the plan for all the surviving students is to return them to class as soon as possible, but they won't be going back to sandy hook, which is at this moment a crime scene school. they're going to use the school in monroe, connecticut, which is roughly seven miles away from newtown. >> young people nationwide are paying their respects this morning with a twitter campaign urging everyone to wear green and white today. green and white, sandy hook's school colors. last night president obama was here. in private he consoled grief stricken parents. and publicly he offered this message of consolation. >> i come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. our primary focus, of course, is on the victims today, but we are learning more about the gunman this morning. a relative says that he was pulled out of school, out of the newtown school system by his
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mother, who was somehow unhappy with their plans for her troubled son. and she decided to home school him instead, some years ago obviously. newtown, connecticut, mourns the loss of 27 of their own. the investigation into the shooter and what drove him to commit such unspeakable acts. it does continue. >> games garabiono is a psychology professor at loyola law school and also the author of "lost boys," how our sons turn violent and how you can save them. you look back at who does these kinds of mass murders, usually they're young, they're men, they're suburban. what else can you tell us that's a thread among those who perpetrate these crimes? >> after the fact, it seems much clearer than before it actually happened. these young men, these boys are building a tower of blocks. each block contributes to them getting to this point. it's not the result of any one
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block, but usually temperamentally they're particularly sensitive, a little bit odd. they experience social rejection. they experience isolation. but also they prepare for this. they play violent video games that get them ready psychologically, even technically. then they get fixated on this delusion, this idea, that somehow this grandiose act of violence will make their lives resolved, that it will deal with their profound sadness, it will give back to the world something that they feel has been done to them. it doesn't make sense from the outside, but inside, all of the killers, inside this makes sense to them. when they actually commit the act, they may come to their senses and become lucid, which is one reason why they often kill themselves. >> can we talk about the video games? you brought this up because in these discussions we invariably get to this notion of violent video games. in your research, in your talks with these kids, what kind of
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role have you seen that they play? >> they pretty clearly break down impediments to killing. most people have a sort of barrier, but the video game, and military psychologists have found this, when you have the point and shoot video game, it breaks down that inhibition against killing and provides a practice. and i think for some of these kids, it's almost as if they're living out these violent video games when they commit the act. of course, that by itself is not sufficient to produce this. many of these other things have to be present, include access to real weapons. no society that makes semiautomatic rifles available should be surprised when people act out these delusional scenarios in this violent way because most of the video games, that's exactly the kind of weapon they practice on. >> the family of dylan klebold from columbine granted you the only interview. i'm curious to know if what they
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told you provides any insight into what happened here. granted, we don't know a lot about the shooter. we know almost less, if you will, about his mother, who he was living with, and who also was a victim and a gun collector. do you see any kind of thread or information from the other case in columbine that would provide some insight in this case? >> well, it's hard to say much to respect their privacy and confidentiality, but i have spoken with other kids who didn't commit this but on the verge of doing it. a boy who brought guns and bombs to school intent upon one of these kinds of actions, and i think that, if there is a common thread, it's that the parents are not necessarily oblivious to what's going on, but they don't quite understand the full dimensions of it. these are children often who have been a little odd or a little unusual since they were very young, and parents love them. of course, these are parents who typically have the resources to sort of keep their children
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afloat through childhood and into adolescence. a boy like this who grew up in an inner city, poor neighborhood would probably sort of break down by the time he was in elementary school. but these kids are kept afloat, and it gives them an opportunity as teenagers to develop these delusional ideas to get fixated on them, to practice with the video games, and then to find access to these weapons. so the common element is that they're acting out an american scenario that is promoted to them through the movies, through video games, through the culture. i spoke with one boy who had studied the columbine massacre as a sort of primer on how to go about doing this. >> i'm really curious about something you said there. you said you talked to boys who were on the verge of doing this crime. how do you get them not to go to that awful place? >> one of these boys actually went to school, and a couple of
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teenage girls noticed he seemed a little off that day. they called the campus police officer. he intervened. what the boy said was he didn't want to kill these girls. so he surrendered rather than go forward. he also said something very interesting, which was he didn't have the social support of somebody else sort of pushing him forward in this, which, of course, the boys in columbine had. they had each other. he even said that. he said, they had each other. and he didn't have enough to go forward. now, this boy who did this, this terrible thing in connecticut, we don't know, we may never know. the fact that he killed his mother suggests that he had some sort of rage that was part of this fixation and that his mother was somehow tied up in this idea that he had, that he had to pay back against the world in a way that, if he were alive today, even he might see how crazy that seems. >> james garabino, thanks so much for the insight on this.
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i find the commonality thread and the work you've done really, really fascinating and terrifying at the same time. i want to get right back to zoraida sambolin. she's been looking more at the victims in this case, to give us insight into their lives, their short lives in some cases. zoraida? >> reporter: i'm actually at treadwell park. this is where most of the press conferences take place, and we're expecting one by state police somewhere around 9:00 or 9:30 eastern, and we're monitoring that. of course, we're going to have it for you. yes, soledad, we are remembering the victims. we'll start here remembering jessica rekos this morning. the 6-year-old loved everything about horses and asked santa for new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat. her family promised she could get her own horse when she turned 10 yards old. avielle richman, age 6. this little girl loved to read. her favorite books were the harry potter series, and her favorite color was red. her summertime hobby was archery because of the movie "brave."
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little benjamin wheeler, also 6 years old. his rabbi said, "there's always some brave individual who goes up to the dance floor to get everybody involved. that was ben wheeler." 6-year-old allison wyatt. she's described as a quiet, shy, and loving little girl. allison loved to garden with her mom and was always outside in the summer. rachel davino, 29 years old, one of the six adults, all women, killed by the shooter at sandy hook elementary. she loved karate, cooking, animals, photography, and her two younger siblings. 56-year-old mary sherlach, the school psychologist. she lived in trumbull, connecticut, with her husband. she enjoyed gardening, reading, and going to the theater. then there's 27-year-old first grade teacher victoria soto. the oldest of four children, she loved her dog roxie. she also wrote she loved flamingos and the new york yankees. soto spent her final moments
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shielding her students from harm, hiding them in a closet before the gunman entered her classroom. and her mother says that does not surprise her one bit. >> she was truly selfless. she would not hesitate to think to save anyone else before herself and especially children. she loved them more than life, and she would definitely put herself in front of them any day, any day and for any reason. it doesn't surprise anybody that knows vicki that she did this. >> reporter: soto's mother says that teaching is all vicki ever wanted to do. ever since she was 3 years old, she knew that was her calling. to find out how you can help those affected by the tragedy, go to a lot of options for you on how you can help these grieving families. soledad and john, i know the two of you can relate to this whole concept as parents. we know we would take a bullet for these kids, but all of these educators in that school that
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day treated these children like they were their own. it's something you would never expect. you certainly would want to know what happened for your child, but it just breaks your heart. >> it has been amazing, i think, the degree to which teachers were heroes in this and also the law enforcement officials. when you think about the scene that they had to work in and deal with and how they were telling those children as they were leading them out, close your eyes so you won't see anything around you. that's just horrific. that's horrific. thank you, zoraida. we appreciate that. still ahead this morning on "starting point," we're going to go back to deepak chopra and talk about what it takes to get through a tragedy like this and find any inner peace. whether it's for an individual or a community. he'll be with us in just a bit. is it time finally to tighten our gun laws? we're going to talk to the director of mayors against illegal guns. questions?
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welcome back, everybody. we're back this morning with deepak chopra. we're live in newtown, connecticut. i know that many of the things we've discussed over the past years has been about finding an inner peace, and i wonder how
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people here will ever be able to do that. >> in the time like this, in the midst of crisis, we will naturally tend to come together to support each other, to listen to each other, to pray with each other, to grieve. they go through a cycle of denial, anger, and then ultimately they do recover. that's the interesting thing. in two years most people will have recovered. >> when you say recover, what do you mean by that? >> they move on to a normal or relatively normal life. some will never recover. some will get post-traumatic stress disorder and will need actually very specific treatments for that. the bigger question is are we going to be doing this show again in three months? unless we take action. >> another tragedy. >> another tragedy. >> so much of what you talk about -- i'm fascinated by your writing and what we talk about, is how to be present. to not get worked up about the past or the future. how can you be present in a
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situation like this when the immediate past is so horrifying? >> you can't for the most part, but you should try to because, if you do, you will look for creative solutions. otherwise, you'll get caught up in the emotional drama of it, which is also very much needed also. unless you have that anger right now, unless you have the rage right now, we might miss the opportunity to do something about it. in fact, you mentioned a campaign on twitter for people to wear green and white. why not a twitter campaign for all of those watching us to look at gun control again. if the collective voice of the people speaks right now in the midst of this crisis, something will happen. >> i think for a lot of people who are watching, not here in newtown, connecticut, what do they do? do you give money? it's a relatively affluent community. >> you huddle together. you make people feel safe. >> so you send messages? >> you send messages.
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you congregate together. you go to church together. you pray together. and you help each other. this moment, there's nothing more than the coming together of people and actually also getting in touch with their grief because, if you don't want to get in touch with their grief, it's only going to fester there into some kind of illness. >> do you find that people recover faster when they get involved in a project around an issue? for example, raising money for communities that need money or fighting for gun laws, if that's how they're so moved? >> they do, but there's a timing to it. if you immediately get involved in something like that, you actually might be even in denial of the pain that you're feeling. you should feel the pain because, if you don't feel the pain, it festers. >> you brought up pain. y you brought up rage. you brought up anger. is it okay to feel all those things? >> yes, it is. at this moment, it is. >> deepak chopra, thank you.
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there are many gun advocates who feel this tragedy could have been prevented had the teacher inside the school been armed? could that have helped?
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welcome back, everybody. in light of this tragedy in newtown, connecticut, is it time to address the nation's gun laws? >> one of the people saying it most loudly is new york mayor michael bloomberg. >> this should be his number one agenda. he's the president of the united states, and if he does nothing
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during his second term, something like 48,000 americans will be killed with illegal guns. that is roughly the number of americans killed in the whole vietnam war. >> mark is the director of mayors against illegal guns. thank you for joining us this rng mont morning. >> thanks for having me. >> you heard mayor bloomberg right there. obviously, this is something you are passionate about. what is your next action? >> it turns out there's a lot you can do about not just mass shootings like this that are terrible and immediate and make the headlines, but also the 34 americans that are killed every day by guns. 40% of the people in this country never get a background check when they buy a gun. we feel that everyone who buys a gun should get a background check. that's something 40% of nra members agree with.
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secondly, you have to take a look at automatic handguns that allow people to fire a lot of ammunition in a short amount of time without reloading. and you have to look at a federal statute that imposes real penalties for straw purchasing where people who can buy a gun because they have a clean record buy for people who can't, and as a result, lots of guns end up in criminal hands. >> these are many of the things we hear about frequently as we've covered way too many of these tragedies. i guess the question for you is after christmas, when it gets back to the new year, when the legislators come back, will this emotion still be palpable, and how do you plan to effect this change to make it happen? >> i think this is different. there are moments that most of us are old enough to have lived through, and it feels like something changed. i know i felt that way after the oklahoma city bombing. everybody felt that way after 9/11. and on the issue of gun violence, with this escalating and rapidly quickening series of mass shootings, i think the country has reached a point where it recognizes the scope of the problem. and is ready, not just to move against the kind of problems
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that cause mass shootings like this to dominate the headlines, but to deal with the kinds of problems, once the cameras leave, that murder 34 people every day. and those murders are normally not done with assault rifles. they're done with handguns. and more and more often, the kind of junk handguns that are increasingly popular on city streets. >> i guess i'm curious to know, if you think that something is likely to happen. both john and i, and i'm sure you've been through this too, but the nra is a very powerful lobby. there's a reason they give a lot of money to people in congress, both democrats and republicans, frankly, who support what they believe who are very much against any kind of strong ban on weapons. how much of a fight you're going to have from the nra, which is well funded. >> two points on that, soledad, and the mayor made one of them on television yesterday. one of them is there's a big difference between nra members and what they want and the nra
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lobbyists in washington and what they want. 74% of nra members think everybody should get a background check. that's something that 82% of gun owners think. 71% of nra members think that, if you're on a terror watch list and you couldn't board an airplane with me this morning when i flew to new york, you shouldn't be able to have a gun. so there's a big difference between what the rank and file think and what the nra leadership thinks. i think the leadership is going to start hearing from their rank and file that they actually want to be represented. the second thing is the nra has developed this reputation for being an awesome political force because they give a lot of money to a lot of different candidates, and there hasn't been much political giving on our side of this issue, where we think we should support the second amendment, but also do more to put guns in the wrong hands. i think that is changing. i think we need a lot more people to get involved. if we look at the electoral history of the nra, the number of political races, where they've had a real and dispositive influence on the
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nra, it's much more than it's cracked up to be, and i think members of congress are going to have to realize that and start acting in the best interests of the country. >> there are some people who might dispute your math on that actually. i think there are plenty of people who say, not demonstrated on race, i'm not sure everybody would agree with you. mark glaze is the director of mayors against illegal guns. i would be curious to follow your actions and see what is done and what tangible differences are made. as once again we move from this tragedy to other tragedies. thank you, sir. still ahead this morning, a special moment during last night's vigil as the president was honoring the victims of the newtown shooting. this holiday, share everything.
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